‘His music can be, and often is, dramatic and powerful, but it can also be tender and warm and it can also show those elements of comedy and parody which he delighted in himself. [It] is, I admit, often difficult and tough. I happen to like that. Like Charles Ives, I like to have my ears stretched. It’s music which goes somewhere. It … progresses from point to point in a direct and logical way.’
This tribute to Humphrey Searle (1915-1983) captures the essence of his creative output. It was given by his friend and fellow composer Peter Racine Fricker, who declared he had been ‘fortunate to have known a person with such wit, warmth and wisdom’.